"Andernacht" [section title]
"Andernacht" [poem]
We have wound a weary way, b
Twilights mists are gathering grey,
Purple now the hills are showing
Bright the western clouds are glowing
Lashing on with giant force,
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Rolls the Rhine his sullen course,
Flash his waves with flamy red,
Eddying oer their basalt bed,
Now with wide expanded breast
Now between the hills compressed,
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Ever noble, ever free,
Flows his river majesty
Now upon the evening skies,
Andernachtʼs grey ruins rise, 1
Memorials of the Roman power, 2
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Buttress and battlement and tower,
Decaying, falling fast away,
The monuments of Caesars sway,
In heaps together loosely thrown,
The sculptured head, inscriptioned stone
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Unguarded now the bridges length,
And failing fast its arches strength
The green sod in the moat is growing
The cold wind in the chambers blowing
And flapping through the thin night air
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The owl and bat the tenants there,
Andernacht [drawing]
Andernach Crane, Round Tower, and Cathedral
Pen and ink, approx. 6.8 × 12.4 cm (image only).
The editors of the Library Edition describe the image as “a sketch of a wooded, high‐banked river, with towers and a church in the distance” (Ruskin, Works, 2:354 n. 2). The sketch shows a grouping of Andernachʼs most familiar medieval buildings. In the sketch, standing closest to the river, is the sixteenth‐century crane; in the middle distance, the fifteenth‐century round tower; and in the far distance, the towers of St. Mary Assumption Cathedral. In the drawing, Ruskin would seem to have crowded these buildings closer together than they could in fact have been seen in a single view, but Clarkson Stanfield grouped them similarly for the engraving, “Andernach” (Ritchie, Travelling Sketches on the Rhine [Heathʼs Picturesque Annual for 1833], 154 opp.).
"Andernacht" [prose]
What is it that makes the very heart leap wi‐
thin you, at the sight of a hills blue outline,
that so aetheriallizes the soul, and ennobles the
spirit, that so raises you from the earth, and
from aught of the earth, c Is it their apparent
proximity to the blue heavens inaccessible–
ness, is it the humbling sense of your own
littleness, or the immoveable, unchangeable mag
nificence, of that which has seen the begin

ning of the world, and will see its end, or is
it that the thoughts range insensibly, from
the things created, to him who created them
I know not. * * *. How it thrilled
through me, when first, far away, across
the lake like swell. f of the deep waters of that
wondrous river. g rose the cloudy outline,
of the blue mountains, i Long time hath
past over me, since I saw the swell of a
blue hill, I have longed for them,— I
have yearned for them as an exile yearns for
his native land, and I am with them.
We left Cologne on a misty summer mor–
ning, its many turreted spires rising colos–
sally, but grey and faint amid the wreath–
ing columns of mist, which smoked up
ward from the course of the broad Rhine.
There was the huge cathedral, dark with
the confused richness of its own fretwork,
and the remains of its unfinished, but
magnificent tower, 3 showing ruinlike, be–

side it, k There were the red sails and min
gled masts of the innumerable shipping, with
out one sail swelling, or a flag bending, with
the morning breeze, m There was that peace–
ful and lovely lassitude over everything, that
sleep of the earth, and the air, and the sky, that
charms the mind into a correspondent fas–
cination of stillness, the very thoughts seem
We went on, we past Bonn, and Godes–
, and Drachenfels 4 and sunset was
sorrowing over hill and valley, when
the gloomy and venerable towers of
Andernacht beetled over us.
I love to look upon the crags that Cæsar
has scaled, and upon the towers that his
legions have founded. These are now
as they were then, looking up to the bro–
ad blue heaven, these are in ruins. 5 Yet,
they are mighty in their ruin, and majes–
tic in their decay, but their Lords are depar

ted and forgotten, as the waves that once lashed their
foundations. Other snows have melted, and the
Rhine yet rolls onward unbroken, but those wav–
es are lost in the ocean for ever o